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About Our Region

REL Southwest serves five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. These states span more than 565,500 square miles and include the nation’s fifth- and second-largest states in area, New Mexico and Texas. Across this vast region, approximately 14,500 schools and 2,500 local education agencies serve more than 7.6 million students. These schools and districts face several challenges, among them above-average percentages of students living in poverty, English learner students, and students performing below grade level in core content areas.

Race/Ethnicity. The diversity of the region’s students reflects the area’s rich history and proximity to Mexico. Hispanic students lead public school enrollment, both for the region as well as in New Mexico and Texas. In Arkansas, the majority of public school students are White, while Louisiana public schools are fairly balanced between White and Black students. New Mexico and Oklahoma also have significant American Indian populations.

Locale. More than 60 percent of the region’s public school students live in and around metropolitan areas, including some of the nation’s largest and fastest growing cities. At the same time, approximately 20 percent of public school students in the region attend rural schools, with the highest percentages in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The region’s rural schools face unique challenges, including limited resources and difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers.

Students

7,672,973
Schools
Number of schools
14,577
Local Education Agencies

2,369
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

60.5%
English Learners
English Learners
14.8%
Special Education
Special Education
11.3%
Graduation Rate

87.7%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic
43.0%
White
32.9%
Black
15.1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
3.9%
American Indian/Alaska Native
2.0%
Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.2%
Two or more races
3.1%
Students

495,291
Schools
Number of schools
1,080
Local Education Agencies

278
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

63.6%
English Learners
English Learners
7.8%
Special Education
Special Education
15.1%
Graduation Rate

89.2%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
60.7%
Black
20.2%
Hispanic
13.2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
1.6%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.6%
Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.9%
Two or more races
2.8%
Students

711,783
Schools
Number of schools
1,384
Local Education Agencies

204
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

53.4%
English Learners
English Learners
3.6%
Special Education
Special Education
12.2%
Graduation Rate

81.4%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
44.3%
Black
43.3%
Hispanic
7.4%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
1.6%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.6%
Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.1%
Two or more races
2.7%
Students

333,537
Schools
Number of schools
883
Local Education Agencies

147
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

72.3%
English Learners
English Learners
15.3%
Special Education
Special Education
16.2%
Graduation Rate

73.9%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic
61.9%
White
23.0%
American Indian/Alaska Native
9.9%
Black
1.9%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
1.1%
Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.1%
Two or more races
2.1%
Students

698,891
Schools
Number of schools
1,807
Local Education Agencies

542
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

60.2%
English Learners
English Learners
7.8%
Special Education
Special Education
16.5%
Graduation Rate

81.8%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
48.5%
Hispanic
17.7%
American Indian/Alaska Native
13.2%
Black
8.5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
2.0%
Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.4%
Two or more races
9.8%
Students

5,433,471
Schools
Number of schools
9,423
Local Education Agencies

1,198
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

60.5%
English Learners
English Learners
17.8%
Special Education
Special Education
9.8%
Graduation Rate

90.0%*
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic
52.5%
White
27.4%
Black
12.6%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
4.5%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.4%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.2%
Two or more races
2.4%


Data sources:
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency (School District) Universe Survey,” 2018–19 v.1a; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey,” 2018–19 v.1a; "Local Education Agency (School District) Universe Survey Geographic Data (EDGE),” 2018–19 v.1a; and "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey,” 2018–19 v.1a. U.S. Department of Education, NCES, Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE), "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe - Geographic Data," 2018–19.

Notes:
The percentages of students by race/ethnicity, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, students with individualized education programs, and students with limited-English proficiency programs were calculated by using total number of students from Common Core of Data (CCD).

*Graduation Rate data are from 2017/18; all other data are from 2018/19.